Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Universities in Crisis

Spyros Themelis

Spyros Themelis

SOCIAL CHANGE AND EDUCATION IN GREECE: A STUDY IN CLASS STRUGGLE DYNAMICS – A NEW BOOK BY SPYROS THEMELIS

A New Book by Spyros Themelis, MiddlesexUniversity

Social Change and Education in Greece: A Study in Class Struggle Dynamics (2013, Palgrave

Macmillan, New York)

This book takes a challenging and refreshingly novel approach to the way education and social mobility are researched and theorised. The key message it delivers goes against the dominant post-war orthodoxy, which has postulated that education is both a mechanism for upward social mobility and an engine for economic growth in liberal capitalist countries. The conclusion the author reaches flies in the face of mainstream political consensus that perceives social mobility as panacea for the provision of occupational opportunities and an instrument for the levelling of the playing field. Much of what lays beneath social mobility, Spyros Themelis argues (apart from a great deal of sophisticated number-crunching) is a celebration and acceptance of an unequal system of allocation of opportunities.

This is one among very few studies that explore social mobility and attendant processes with the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The author views social mobility not merely as the outcome of the movements of individuals from one income or occupational group into another, detached from their societal, community and family context, as in conventional mobility studies. Instead, he examines social mobility as a complex process, where socio-economic (e.g. migration), cultural (e.g. marital practices and community values) and political (e.g. political patronage) forces, experiences, arrangements and strategies interact and interconnect in impeding or enhancing individuals’ and families’ social mobility movements.

The book makes some contribution to the ongoing debate about the economic crisis that has hit Greece since 2009. It suggests that the failure of education to promote equality of opportunities is symptomatic of the failure of the wider system to prioritise fair and equitable arrangements. If Greece’s current situation is to teach us a lesson, this is to urgently rethink about the whole system, not only in Greece but in the rest of the Western world too. The myth of education-based meritocracy and unfettered social mobility has anaesthetised Western societies to the multitude of social inequalities with which they are permeated. These might be hard times, but all the more appropriate to urge us to think about positive social change.

Dr Spyros Themelis is a Senior Lecturer in Education, Department of Education, Middlesex University, UK.

The book can be ordered from this link: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=537469

It is published in the Palgrave Macmillan Marxism and Education Series: http://www.palgrave.com/products/SearchResults.aspx?s=ME&fid=3658 and http://us.macmillan.com/series/MarxismandEducation

**END**

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Universities

MINDING THE CAMPUS: REFORMING THE UNIVERSITIES

This is an interesting website, although it seems often that the stock answer to the troubles and crises of contemporary universities in the United States is privatization. However, there are thought-provoking articles on topics such as learning outcomes, the vocationalization of higher education and managerialism. There is also a firm commitment to liberal education – at a time when it is under threat.

Glenn Rikowski, London, 27th October 2012  

 

 

About ‘Minding the Campus’ (from the MtC website):

“The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worthy of consideration” — Allan Bloom.

With the 25th Anniversary of Allan Bloom’s The Closing Of The American Mind upon us, the absence of intellectual pluralism that Bloom decried is still depressingly upon us. There is an undeniable divide between the Academy and larger society; a curtain has been drawn around the academy, inside of which the protection of certain ideas has trumped intellectual exchange and a search for the truth. There should be no easy or protected answers in our schools. In the modern academy, many certainly do not know all of the ideas worthy of consideration.

Minding the Campus hopes to change that by fostering a new climate of opinion that favors civil and honest engagement of all sides, offering an engaged debate for readers concerned with the state of the modern university. We provide a simple central resource, featuring fresh original content and drawing upon the best from established magazines and publications, as well as from less-visited corners, from professional journals to blogs and student publications. In connecting resources from disparate worlds, we hope to connect their readers, fostering potential for real discussion and change.

A conversation about America’s Universities is needed; look for it here: http://www.mindingthecampus.com/

 

**END**

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

 

 

Education Crisis

GLOBAL DISRUPTIONS AND HIGHER EDUCATION

Occupy: A New Pedagogy of Space and Time?

Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning, Director of Centre for Educational Research and Development,University ofLincoln

Dr Sarah Amsler, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Educational Research and Development,University ofLincoln

Friday 9th March 2012, 15.00 – 16.30, Room 120, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square

Dear All

Welcome to the first SRHE Southwest Higher Education Network Seminar of 2012!  

Full details of the event are attached to this email.

Booking: To book a place or for further information, please contact:  Richard.Budd@bristol.ac.uk

Look forward to seeing you there.

Dr Lisa Lucas

Co-Director Teaching, Learning and Assessment DirectorMPhil/PhD Programme Graduate School of Education University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA, Tel: +44 (0)117 331 4351 (internal number 14351)

Email: Lisa.Lucas@bristol.ac.uk

Webpage: http://www.bris.ac.uk/education/people/person/lisa-lucas/overview.html

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory

MARXISM AND EDUCATION: RENEWING DIALOGUES XV

Education, Crisis and Society

Speakers to include: Alex Callinicos and Dave Hill
A Day Seminar 10.30 – 4.30, Saturday November 26th  2011
Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, WC1, 
Committee Room 1

The seminar is free but places are limited.

To reserve a place contact Alpesh Maisuria at: amaisuria@ioe.ac.uk
Please forward this invite to those who may be interested

Convenors: Tony Green, Alpesh Maisuria

———

Alpesh Maisuria
Senior Lecturer (Anglia Ruskin University)
PhD Candidate (University of London Institute of Education)
Visiting Scholar (University of Uppsala and Gothenburg University, Sweden; University of South Australia)

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Higher Education Crisis

HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE LIQUID MODERN ERA

 BSA Regional Postgraduate Day School Event 2011

Higher Education in the Liquid Modern Era: Swirling Down the Drain?

The Bauman Institute, University of Leeds, Friday 9 September, 2011

Last remaining places! Book now: http://www.britsoc.co.uk/events/postgrad.htm

The metaphor of liquidity is used in Zygmunt Bauman’s work to represent the loss of security felt as more the ‘solid’ institutions and ‘traditional’ patterns of social relations of modernity break down/dissolve in the contemporary world. A striking example of this can be found to exist in the situation facing contemporary participants – students, teachers and researchers – in higher education (HE), especially those working in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The ‘traditional’ pursuits of academia are being increasingly undermined by changes which are aimed at subordinating free enquiry to the shifting demands of the marketplace. The proposed changes to HE funding outlined by the current UK coalition government seem likely to further exacerbate the tendency towards instrumentalism in HE, while simultaneously destabilizing employment in both the knowledge and the culture industries in the UK for many years to come.

In light of these recent proposals, and the likely assault on non-STEM subjects that will ensue, we feel that it would be productive to consider as postgraduate students the likely landscape which we are about to enter. We aim to do this by drawing on Bauman, who has written and recently lectured on the role of sociologists and higher education in contemporary society (‘Education in Liquid Modernity’, 2005; Sociology – Whence and Whither?: Speech from the Bauman Institute Launch Conference, 2010), as well as others, in order to produce a written statement in defence of social science.

Whilst this will be a collaborative effort, with input predominantly from sociology postgraduates, we envisage inviting a small number of postgraduates and academics from other disciplines to contribute their ideas and efforts. Through this, we suggest that a more comprehensive understanding of the common problems facing those across the social sciences, at different stages in their academic lives, can help us to produce a justification of sociology’s continuing value and importance beyond narrow, mechanistic definitions of ‘impact’.

The aim of the event is to provide a space for postgraduate social scientists to engage in critical reflection on the proposed changes to higher education funding in the UK and their implications for our so-called ‘knowledge’ society, particularly through drawing on the insights provided in the work of Zygmunt Bauman on the insecurities and uncertainties of life in liquid modern times.

The event will consist of a mix of papers from postgraduate students, three keynote speakers, panel discussion, and collaborative workshop sessions. Postgraduate students will receive first preference for places.

Registration fees: BSA Members: Free Non-members: £25

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk  

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com  

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com  

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Higher Education

REIMAGINE THE UNIVERSITY

How could we transform the university, how could students and lecturers learn differently through more creative, critical and empowering processes, is it even possible to transform the university, or do we need to create an entirely different system?

We invite you to be a part of exploring and demonstrating an alternative educational system over three days. Be it a workshop, a lecture a discussion a film an event, we are calling… on students, lecturers and staff and others to come together and show another university is possible.

***
For a long time the university has been undergoing a process of privatisation.

Universities are now run as businesses, with students as consumers and lecturers as creators of products – knowledge has become a commodity that can be bought and sold. The sole purpose of university has become to train docile workers to perform functions within a capitalist system, to contribute to the enrichment of the few rather than the collective social improvement of all.

The recent Browne Report, written by former executive of BP, takes this process to a whole new level- proposing a removal on the cap on fees which will create an even more hierarchical education system, reducing research funding and rising fees to an estimated £10,000 a year. All this results in students taking on more debt for the same education, with lecturers being forced to carry out ‘economies exercises’ and staff working longer hours and harder for less money.

It is clear that the university system is becoming bankrupt and in need of profound change, but no-one can see an alternative, a solution, a way out.

As workers and students at different places within the university system, we can see a different way forward, we don’t have all the answers, but we have many ideas and are sure there are many more out there. We are putting on a three-day event across the university to facilitate the process of re-imagining the higher education system. We would like to explore how universities can become a place where creative and critical thought is fostered, where participants teach what inspires them, learn what they are passionate about, where people share and develop their skills and knowledge in order to create a more equitable and sustainable world, not simply for jobs and profit.

To be held at University of Leeds & Leeds Metropolitican University 24th -26th November

Precise locations and workshops to be announced on our website: http://www.reallyopenuniversity.org

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Education Crisis

AFTER THE MASS EDUCATION PROTEST: CO-ORDINATING MEETING AND UNITY STATEMENT

Over 50,000 students and lecturers marched this Wednesday, making it the biggest education protest since 1985. In the context of the miners’ strike, the student revolt forced Margaret Thatcher to back down from her plans to introduce tuition fees. Now, the issue of tuition fees threatens to turn into Cameron and Clegg’s poll tax.

A very large number of students broke away from the official route of the demonstration to march on the Tory HQ in 30 Millbank. Dozens of protestors got inside the building and onto the roof while a crowd of thousands laid siege outside for several hours.

This represents a real turning point in the resistance to the coalition government’s austerity programme, bringing the spirit of the French and Greek general strikes to the UK. Now there is a real opportunity to build on Wednesday’s mobilisation with protests, student walkouts and occupations on every university and college campus.

The protests have also opened up a lively debate inside our movement about which strategies and tactics are most appropriate and effective. This is to be welcomed – tens of thousands of people are joining our struggle, bringing a wealth of different perspectives.

But we firmly reject the attempt by the right-wing press to witch-hunt protesters and activists. The real vandals are the Tory and Liberal politicians who are wrecking our education. Over 50 protestors have already been arrested, some for nothing more than entering the building. This is an attempt to scare and divide our movement at a time when we most urgently need to unite.

Coordinating meeting: where next after the demonstration?

6pm Monday 15th November, King’s College London

With speakers from the Millbank occupation and across the movement

 

We need unity – stand with the Millbank protesters!

Defence statement to sign and circulate

http://teneleventen.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-need-unity-defend-the-Millbank-protestors/128397300550227

teneleventen@googlemail.com

Newsflash: post-demo occupation at Manchester University http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/11/student-protests-demand-accounts

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com